NU Park and Recreation offers several options for the fall and winter seasons

NEW ULM – With the winter months fast approaching and people making the transition from being outside to indoors, now is the time to start planning ahead to stay in shape during the fall and winter months.

The New Ulm Park and Recreation Department has plenty of options for people of all ages to consider. Joey Schugel, who is the Recreation Program Supervisor, provided several ideas for those who are looking for some exercise this winter, whether it be in a team sport or fitness classes.

“Because we are in Minnesota and the climate changes there are changes we need to make in what programs, events, and activities we offer the community and the uptick in use our indoor facilities see during this time,” Schugel said.

Schugel said that the Recreation Center and New Ulm Civic Center see increased use this time of year. At the Rec. Center, people can get a workout on any of the fitness machines (treadmills, elliptical machines, exercise bikes) or the weight room. There’s a walking track and basketball courts also for use along with racquetball courts and individual fitness classes at many times of the week. Another popular destination is the pool, where people of all ages flock all year.

Also, figure skaters or hockey players can use the facilities at the civic center all year and especially in the next few months.

“Because of the heavy use of these facilities we try to offer programs, leagues, and events that the community can enjoy and see high participation,” Schugel said.

Youth programs also available

Although the children are back in school during the fall and winter months, the upcoming months are a good time for them to get into a fitness routine. There are many programs geared towards children. Some programs include swim lessons, key log rolling and pottery/ceramics to name a few.

In addition, a new program debuting In November is Munchkin Olympics, where children ages 4-10 can compete in the smaller version of popular Olympic games.

There will be two holiday themed events coming in the next couple of months – the family Zumba and Pool Spooktacular and the Skate with Santa program.

Family zumba and pool spooktacular will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29. It starts with a special Halloween themed open swim from 3-5 p.m. followed by a zumba spooktacular in the dark from 5:15 p.m.-6. Children 5-years old and under must be accompanied by an adult. Costumes are welcomed.

Additionally, the Skate with Santa is an annual holiday event held from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4. People are urged to skate with Santa and other holiday favorites along with the New Ulm Steel Hockey Team to help support the local food shelf.

For more information, a complete list of programs can be found on the City of New Ulm Website and registration can be done online at Registration can also be done in person at the Recreation Center, or by calling (507) 359-8347.

Adult athletic leagues

Fall and winter time is also a busy time for adult athletic leagues. One of the more popular options seems to be the volleyball leagues that are offered at the Recreation Center

With league options on Wednesday and Thursday evenings (both women’s and co-rec leagues), it’s one that seems to fill up fast with players from all around the area.

“Last year we had 49 adult volleyball teams register for league for Wednesdays and Thursdays, and expect to be right around that number again this year,” Schugel said. “It is great to see such high participation for these leagues from not only New Ulm but also those who travel from surrounding to communities.”

Volleyball leagues run from the first week in November to mid-March. Another league that has started to take off is the men’s basketball league on Sunday nights at the Recreation Center starting in December.

“This is the third year now that we will run a men’s basketball league with this format on Sunday nights and from year one to year two saw the league size more than double and we expect to add another couple teams again this year,” Schugel said.

A third popular option at the Recreation Center is adult racquetball. Racquetball is a sport that is always looking to take in new players. Fall league is already underway on Monday nights and will run into December but there is another league that starts up in January. There is an opportunity for free play daily at the Rec. Center and equipment is available.

Two other sports that enjoy open play over the next few months are pickleball and broomball.

Both sports are gaining in popularity and both offer a great way to get a workout.

Pickleball is played from 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the Rec. Center and broomball is played from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the civic center.